Sunday, July 5, 2009
Marwa al-Sherbini was stabbed while her 3-year old son was present
On August 21, 2008, Marwa was with her then 2-year-old at a playground in the Dresden suburb of Johannstadt. She had arrived in Germany together with her son and husband, Ali, three years prior to the incident from Egypt. Ali holds a fellowship at the renowned Max-Planck-Institut
On the playground, an argument arose between Marwa and and the 27-year-old Alex, where he insulted her with words like “slut”, “Islamist”, and “Terrorist.” After an official complaint was filed, a local court fined the man 780 Euro. The prosecutors felt that the punishment was too soft, and the man proceeded to appeal the decision. As a result, the appeal was heard by the State Court in Dresden in July 2009.
During the proceedings on the morning of July 1st, in addition to the accused and his state-assigned counsel, both Marwa’s 3-year-old son and her husband were in attendance. The routine process was running without incident, when the situation radically changed in a matter of seconds. As Marwa wrapped up her statement to the court, the accused man lunged at her with a knife he had brought with him. In front of her child, Marwa was stabbed eighteen times in less than 30 seconds. Both the defense attorney and Marwa’s husband attempted to get between the man and Marwa, resulting in Ali being stabbed. Two police officers, who stormed the hall, took Ali for the attacker, shooting him in the leg. Only afterwards could the real attacker be identified and taken into custody.
Marwia died right there in the courtroom as a result of the stab wounds. It is now become known that she was pregnant at the time of her death. Her husband was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. The 3-year-old son, who was also injured, has been taken into care by friends. A spokesperson of the prosecution, Christian Avenarius, spoke a day after the incident, described the incident as the “fanatical actions of a lone man, who was acting out of feelings of extreme xenophobia.”